Steve Chatterton
Will Write for Food

On Bird Brains, Etc.

April 24th, 2014 by Steve
Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet – Photo by Me!

English speakers don’t often ascribe intelligence to birds, quite likely for good reason. A cursory examination of bird-related figures of speech shows we call the dim-witted among us “bird brained,” sometimes dismissing them as “silly geese.” The long-extinct dodo is now synonymous with stupidity, and we safely assume that crows fly in straight lines because that’s all their little brains can comprehend. Rumour-mongers questioned about their sources often say “a little bird told me,” and the resulting lies they spread don’t remotely advance our appreciation of avian brainpower.

A bird in the hand (even a lame duck that’s no longer a spring chicken) is worth two in the bush, which you can kill with a single stone if you’re lucky; they’re so feeble-minded they likely won’t see it coming.

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All Together in the Altogether

April 17th, 2014 by Steve

While browsing The Oxford Dictionary of Idioms today (I’m a bit of a word geek, for those of you not keeping score at home), I came across this entry:

In the ALTOGETHER: without any clothes on; naked.

Then I remembered what cheeky wordsmiths The Beatles were and wondered if there might be a second meaning to the song All Together Now. Were they encouraging us to sing along or strip down to our birthday suits en masse? I defer to Paul’s request to take his “friend to bed” for my interpretation today.

It also gives me second thoughts about Hammy Hamster’s friend Altogether Morris.

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Nothing Objectionable

April 14th, 2014 by Steve


Last Saturday I drove to London (Ontario) at the mercy of radio as my only means of entertainment. Once you get a good distance from Toronto your choices become extremely limited and somewhat dodgy, and I found myself hitting the search buttons on the radio tuner almost every 30 seconds, hoping desperately for some consistent programming that could help prevent highway hypnosis.

I forgot about the radio for a few minutes when I had to do some tricky lane changing. When I was all sorted out I heard a station identification for the frequency I was on. They said their programming was family friendly, from their music selections to their between-song banter, and you could listen to them with confidence they would never, ever let you hear anything remotely objectionable.

Deeply offended by this, I immediately hit the search button again and landed on a station playing “Anarchy in the UK” by the Sex Pistols. I cranked it, singing at the top of my lungs, drumming madly on the steering wheel, neither family friendly nor socially acceptable but delighted to the core.

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A Dream Remembered

April 14th, 2014 by Steve


I don’t often remember my dreams unless they wake me with my heart pounding in my throat. When it happens, I’m glad it’s not a regular occurrence.

I woke this morning at 4:00 after dreaming about an old high school buddy named Kurt. We had been pretty tight even though he was a year or two ahead of me. He was always pretty laid back and open to discussing weird ideas, and he had a sense of humour, which really counted.

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642 Things #2 – Green Stuff

April 4th, 2014 by Steve

642 Things to Write About

I remember my Grandma as one h*** of a cook and my mother as the personification of how things sometimes skipped a generation. For instance, Grandma (pronounced Gramma by those in the know) always roasted her turkey to perfection; crispy skin, never dry in the least. And even if it were slightly overdone, her pan dripping gravy meant all was forgiven. My mother’s pork chops, however, doubled as hockey pucks once they cooled. Perhaps it was for the best. If mom had Grandma’s skill, I likely would have been a morbidly obese child.

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